Black Shortnose Seabat, Halicmetus niger Ho, Endo & Sakamaki 2008

Other Names: Black Batfish

Paratype of Halicmetus niger - ASIZ P64421. Source: Ho, Hsuan-Ching / FishBase. License: All rights reserved

A uniformly black seabat with a paler greyish underside, fins entirely dark or with a broad dark band, a dark peritoneal membrane, and a black pharynx. The rostrum extends well beyond the mouth, and the tubercles on the body surface are mainly trifid or bifurcate.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2022, Halicmetus niger in Fishes of Australia, accessed 02 Mar 2024,

Black Shortnose Seabat, Halicmetus niger Ho, Endo & Sakamaki 2008

More Info


NNE of Port Hedland, Western Australia, and the Coral Sea off the northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, to east of Broken Bay New South Wales. Elsewhere the species occurs in the north-west Pacific.


A species of Halicmetus with the following combination of characters: disk moderately broad, 62–71% SL; orbit very large, 78.9–11.6% SL; interorbit broad, 6.1–8.1% SL; illicial trough opening low; mid-dorsal disk covered with mixed simple and multicuspid spinules; tiny bucklers evenly distributed on dorsal surface, imperceptible without magnification; belly covered with closely spaced, simple spinules and slightly larger, scattered multicuspid tubercles; dorsal-fin rays absent; pectoral-fin rays 12–15 (modally 13–14); uniformly black dorsally, paler grayish ventrally; peritoneal membrane with dense coverage of melanophores; fins dark banded or black.


The specific name is from the Latin niger (= black) in reference to the uniform grey to black colour of the body, peritoneum, and pharynx.

Species Citation

Halicmetus nigra Ho, Endo & Sakamaki 2008, Zoological Studies 47(6): 768, figs. 1, 4A, 5A. Type locality: Central Tosa Bay, off Kochi, Shikoku Island, Japan, 500 m.


Bray, D.J. 2022


Atlas of Living Australia

Black Shortnose Seabat, Halicmetus niger Ho, Endo & Sakamaki 2008


Ho, H. 2020. Halicmetus niger. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020: e.T140301383A140322695. Accessed on 30 November 2022.

Ho, H.-C., Endo, H. & Sakamaki, K. 2008. A new species of Halicmetus (Lophiiformes: Ogcocephalidae) from the western Pacific, with comments on congeners. Zoological Studies 47(6): 767-773 See ref online

Ho, H.-C. & Last, P.R. 2018. Review of the batfish genus Halicmetus Alcock, 1891 from Australian waters, with descriptions of two new species (Lophiiformes: Ogcocephalidae). Zootaxa 4508(2): 179-196.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37212046

Conservation:IUCN Data Deficient

Depth:280-1112 m

Habitat:Continental slope

Max Size:9 cm SL

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